AMISOM and Somali national security forces evacuate flood victims in Beledweyne
More than 10,000 people in Beledweyne, Hirshabelle state have been evacuated by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces over the past 48 hours, according to a Djibouti Commander overseeing the operation.
Col Abdourahman Rayale Hareed, the Commander of Djibouti’s Hiil 5 Battalion, said that his team’s mission was to evacuate residents to Eel Jaale, or other higher grounds.
“We are taking part in the evacuation of Somali people so as to rescue them from flooded areas and take them to a place near Eel Jaale far from floods. As you can see there is a need for transport, we have used vehicles that we could to evacuate these people. There is a need [for help]; these people left their homes, they have no water, they need urgent help like food, water, so we appeal for emergency help for these people.”
The Somali government says that more than 175,000 have been displaced and close to half a million people have been affected by the floods in the south and central Somalia.
The torrential rains in Beledweyne, which is among the worst hit places in Somalia, has led to over 100,000 people being displaced. Aid agencies warn that more than 200, 000 people are at risk of being affected by floods after River Shabelle burst its banks, forcing many to flee the town to higher grounds.
President Farmajo surveyed the damage on Monday and appealed for medical and aid supplies.
The Commander of Beledweyne Police Station, Mohamed Maow Halane, thanked the joint AMISOM and Somali forces rescue team for evacuating the affected residents.
”Indeed, people got help from different areas; the troops have assisted the people. Forces from military, police and AMISOM, especially Djiboutian troops, have helped as you can see the transport. We have been carrying out emergency rescue exercise for three days. The military and police vehicles together have helped rescue people from the flooded villages. Some vehicles could not access the village, but yesterday and the day before it was accessed by AMISOM vehicles particularly the ones owned by the Djiboutians.”
the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Somalia warned In its report released last week that the heavy rains were worsening conditions in overcrowded Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) settlements and displacing more people along riverine areas due to flooding. The settlements have limited access to hygiene facilities, thus heightening the risk of communicable diseases.
According to the OCHA report, 246,000 people are at risk of flash floods in Baidoa, Southwest state, while in Jubbaland approximately 28,200 people have been displaced by floods, which swept away home, shelters, farms and livestock.